Coronation Street actress and mum-of-three Kym, 38, sent shockwaves through the studio audience by announcing that not only was she not planning to vote in the upcoming General Election but she has never voted in her life.
"I don't vote," she said. "Why am I going to vote when I don't believe any of them?"
Panelist Jane Moore was aghast and tried to persuade Kym to change her mind, explaining that people had died for the right to vote.
"It's so difficult," Kym went on. "I can't choose between any of them."
"I know what you mean, but they are not saying the same thing," said journalist Jane, 52. "If you sit down and read what they are saying, there are things to pick out."
Video credit: Loose Women/YouTube
Later in the show guest Jack Dee also tried to make Kym rethink her decision, saying, "You must always vote. You can't really complain about it until you have voted."
Whether we agree with non-voters or not, is it really so shocking that Kym Marsh is one of them? We know that the majority of the younger generation are not going to be queuing outside the polling stations on May 7. According to recent research by YouGov for British Future, only around 1,350,000 first time voters will definitely vote in this year's General Election, meaning over two million young people will not cast their ballot.
When it comes to the U.K. population as a whole around 60 percent said they would definitely vote — but this still leaves up to 20 million non-voters.
Clearly voter apathy and low election turnouts are huge concerns in the U.K. But how do the political parties persuade 20 million non-voters to cast their ballot, particularly when not trusting those very politicians seems to be one of the main reasons for not voting? Many people believe that the Australian system of mandatory voting is the way forward in which all citizens are required to show up at the polls on Election Day. They don't actually have to cast a vote — they can mark their ballots for "none of the above."
However critics of compulsory voting — which exists in at least 20 other countries besides Australia, including Brazil and North Korea — are quick to point out its flaws. Namely is it really democratic to force someone to vote? In some parts of the world people are sentenced to jail for not voting.
In a true democracy shouldn't every individual have the right to abstain from voting unless they have a good reason to or a political party that inspires them? Is voting for a party simply because it is the one you mistrust the least the right way to decide the future political leaders of our country?
Or do non-voters need to accept that no political party is perfect and make more of an effort to dig deeper into each party's manifesto to find whatever strikes a chord for them and their family? Is non-voting on the grounds of all parties being the same simply an excuse for laziness?
What do you think about non-voters? Are you one? Let us know in the comments section below.
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